Infantry Uniforms and Equipment (page 3)
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

The 2007 Military Expo at Fort Snelling featured re-enactors from the 105th Engineer Combat Battalion and the 117th Infantry Regiment of the 30th Infantry Division. They provided a great display of gear. Some of these items are, of course, reproductions, but they have a good sense of accuracy.

We start our photo album with a fine example of the herringbone twill jacket (it looks like a shirt, but it is called a jacket) and trousers. These began to replace the blue denim fatigue uniforms in 1941. They were also used as summer/tropical combat uniforms. The first re-enactor wears the late war combat service boot, while the second gentleman wears the canvas leggings and an HBT cap.

The next series shows several tent shelters. Each soldier carried one half of a tent in his pack. The equipment displayed here, however, would be belong to just one soldier. Just inside the opening of the tent in the last photo one can see the blue denim barrack bag that was phased out early in the war.

This display gives a better indication of the role of the WWII combat engineer. The equipment includes cardboard boxes of blasting caps and blocks of TNT explosives (the latter packaged in the wooden boxes). The two large reels contain red engineer wire used for setting off explosives. The yellow tubes are blasting caps. A couple of blasting machines can been seen; these were used to set off a chain of explosives. The small boxes in the center of the display, next to the spools of yellow and white cord (perhaps trip wire for booby traps), are small shock-proof containers holding non-electrical fuzes. Near them are a MKII A1 fragmentation grenade and an M18 colored smoke grenade (in the blue-grey canister).

Atop the TNT box is a small German wooden "shoe" mine and a larger S mine. In the last two photos in the sequence we see the large case that holds the SCR-625 mine detector.

Skivies are airing out in the command post. We see a pair of lanterns, by the light of which officers would prepare their reports at the fiberboard field desks. Another table displays the Telegraph Set TG-5 B (front), Telephone TP-9 (left rear), the SCR-300 walkie-talkie backpack radio (center), and the Telephone EE-8 (right), which was carried in either a leather or canvas case.

Reproduction wooden K-rations boxes serve as a table for some tins of meat and cans of vegetables. The vegetables were often shipped overseas with their original manufacturer's labels—a little touch of home, perhaps. Two styles of insulated food carriers are shown. The round ones could hold three airtight aluminum inserts.

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Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter